Our thoughts have a tremendous influence on our body and the rest of our being. The internal dialogue that we conduct with ourselves impacts how we feel and how we behave, the consequences of which could be either beneficial or detrimental.
Every time we have a thought, connections are made between the neurons in our brains. If the same thought is repeated, then these connections become stronger. This is a bit like walking in a field of grass: if we walk up and down the same line then we will eventually create a path. In the same way, repeating the same thoughts creates deep groves in our minds. If these thoughts are negative, then we could be stuck in harmful patterns that lower the quality of our life.
The good news is that our brains are not hard-wired and we can shape new paths in our brains. In other words, by sending the right messages to ourselves we can gain control over our minds and replace negative thought patterns with positive ones.
This is how affirmations work. We are effectively re-programming and training our brain to send more positive messages to ourselves so that improve our quality of life in the long term.
- Sit in a comfortable meditation posture with your eyes closed; alternatively, you could look at yourself in the mirror as you say this.
- Identify some positive messages that you may wish to send to yourself. Some examples of these are given below, but you can come up with any positive messages that you wish to send to yourself:
- “I value myself, I honour myself, I love myself”
- “I feel calm and peaceful, strong and healthy”
- “I am grateful for what I have, this day is a gift that I will use wisely”
- Repeat these a few times at normal volume, then in a whisper, then silently, again in a whisper, finishing at normal volume. You can change the pace and emphasis as you wish. It is important, however, that you make these affirmations with a strong intent and feeling so that they are not just empty words.
- After the last affirmation, observe how you are feeling for a few moments before opening your eyes. Remain in the state that results from your affirmations for as long as you can after coming out of the meditation.
This technique requires a lot of patience. If you have been building up negative thought patterns for a number of years / decades, then it will take a long time to eradicate and replace them with new patterns. The key is to persevere with patience without any expectations: let the results unfold in their own time.